FREEPORT, ILLINOIS — In the summer of 2019, the members and friends at St. John United Church of Christ made a bold choice. “Putting their faith into action,” the congregation embarks on a major project in creation care and environmental justice by “Going Solar” with the installation of a 65 kWh Solar Renewable Energy Project.
St. John UCC will install a 65 kW solar energy system, producing enough renewable electric energy to provide 100% (or more) of the power needed to operate our church campus each year. Working with Iconic Energy Solar Professionals and Blackhawk Bank of Rockford, this project will lower the church’s carbon footprint by more than 1000 tons over twenty years. This project will make St. John UCC the first 100% self-generated solar powered faith community in Illinois, and the first 100% renewable electric powered business in Freeport and Stephenson County.
Why is a church making the move to renewable energy and solar power? Rev. Hank Fairman, Senior Pastor of St. John UCC had this to say;
“Our Solar Project is a highly visible way to show how everyone can be engaged in creation care and environmental justice. Our congregation hopes that through our witness, other faith communities, businesses, and residents of our community will follow our example and do their part.”
Solar energy is an easy, safe decision to decrease our dependence on fossil and nuclear fuels, both in our homes and at our businesses. This project also demonstrates good stewardship of the congregation’s resources, providing $10,000 in annual savings from electric utility costs. These savings will be used to engage and increase the impact of the congregation’s ministry in other areas and issues in our community.
The installation is scheduled to begin in mid-October, with a service of dedication and “Flipping the Switch” onReformation Sunday, October 27, 2019. More events will take place at the church throughout October to welcome the Freeport community and share information on renewable alternatives and creation justice.
St. John United Church of Christ is a Progressive Christian faith community serving the community of Freeport since 1848. The congregation works for environmental justice, creation care, and seeks to create a spirit of eco-consciousness in our city and region.
The members and friends of the congregation strive to “live their faith out loud,” sharing the Gospel message of open acceptance and affirmation for all people inclusive of sexual orientation or gender identity, racial and economic justice, care for creation, and social action through the principles of our faith.